THE reopening of schools this year hangs in the balance as officials continue to monitor the rising Covid-19 caseload.
Last month, the Government deferred reopening schools to a later date from the initial July 28 owing to rising cases of local coronavirus transmissions.
There have been 1 244 cases of local transmission of the virus out of the cumulative 1 282 cases recorded in the first seven days of this month.
Thirty five (35) people have succumbed to the respiratory disease in the period.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said it was premature to announce new dates for the schools calendar.
Government, however, is currently mobilising the required personal protective equipment (PPE) for public learning institutions.
“We are presently monitoring trends, particularly Covid-19 local infections. If they continue escalating, as they are doing now, we will have to defer re-opening further mainly as a means of protecting our learners and teachers,” he said.
“As a ministry, we have continued readying ourselves for the eventual re-opening through the purchasing of PPE and perfecting our (education) modules.
“We have been fine-tuning our radio lessons as well.
“For communities that do not get radio signals, we are in the process of producing physical modules related to the radio lessons.
“For June examinations, most of those writing were private candidates, but for the November examination, we mainly have school candidates, hence (the need) for them to be ready to sit for the exams.
“They need adequate learning time so that they are able to complete the syllabus.
“At the moment, the only time we can talk of November examinations is when we have a set date for the re-opening of schools.”
Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) chairperson Professor Eddie Mwenje continues to emphasise that examinations will only be written when students have completed the syllabus and when it is safe to do so.